My Dog
Level A

About the Book

Text Type: Fiction/Realistic
Page Count: 10
Word Count: 33

Book Summary
The spirited little dog in this book can run, jump, climb, roll over, and even hug the boy who loves him. The text introduces students to verbs and uses repeated sentence patterns with high-frequency words to support early readers.

About the Lesson

Targeted Reading Strategy

  • Connect to prior knowledge


  • Connect to prior knowledge to understand new information
  • Main idea and details
  • Orally discriminate initial sounds
  • Associate the letter Dd with the sound /d/
  • Understand that some words describe actions
  • Categorize content words on a Venn diagram


  • Book -- My Dog (copy for each student)
  • Chalkboard or dry erase board
  • Main idea and details, verbs worksheets
  • Word journal (optional)

Indicates an opportunity for student to mark in the book. (All activities may be completed with paper and pencil if books are reusable.)


  • High-frequency words: my, can
  • Content words: jump, run, swim, dig, climb, sit, over, roll, hug

Before Reading

Build Background

  • Ask students to describe kinds of dogs they have seen or have as pets. Ask students to tell actions they have seen the dogs do.

Book Walk

Introduce the Book

  • Show students the front and back covers of the book and read the title with them. Ask what they might read about in a book called My Dog. (Accept any answers students can justify). Ask students what the dog is doing in the pictures and whether they have seen a dog doing these things.
  • Refer to the title My Dog and ask students who they think is telling this story. Help them make the connection between the word my and the picture of the boy.
  • Show students the title page. Discuss the information on the page (title of book, author's name, illustrator's name). Ask what the dog is doing in this picture and if they have seen a dog doing this action before.

Introduce the Reading Strategy: Connect to prior knowledge

  • Explain that good readers make connections between what they already know and new information they read. Remind students that thinking about what they already know about the topic of the book will help them understand what they read.
  • Model how to connect to prior knowledge and experience.
  • Think-aloud: When I look at the pictures on the covers, it reminds me of dogs I have seen playing. I have seen dogs that like to roll around and leap on you when they are happy, just like the dog in this picture. Thinking about what I know about dogs and what they like to do will help me read the words and understand what I am reading.
  • Have students preview the covers and title page. Invite them to share how they connected to something they know about dogs.
  • As students read, encourage them to use other reading strategies in addition to the targeted strategy presented in this section. For tips on additional reading strategies, click here.

Introduce the Vocabulary

  • Model using initial sounds and picture clues to read words. For example, say: What can the dog do here? That's right, the dog can dig. What sound does dig start with? Which word on the page do you think says dig?
  • Remind students to look at the beginning and ending letters of words, to look at the pictures to see what makes sense, and read the sentence to check whether the word makes sense.
  • Encourage students to add new vocabulary words to their word journals.
  • For additional tips on teaching high-frequency words or word-attack strategies, click here.

Set the Purpose

  • Have students connect to something the already know about dogs as they read the book.

During Reading

Student Reading

  • Guide the reading: Give students their copy of the book. Have a volunteer point to the first word on page 3. Read the word together (My). Point out where to begin reading on each page. Remind students to read words from left to right. Point to each word as you read it aloud while students follow along in their own book.
  • Ask students to place a finger on the page number in the bottom corner of the page. Have them read to the end of page 5, using their finger to point to each word as they read. Encourage students who finish before others to reread the text.
  • Ask what things the dog can do. Ask them to share how they connected to something that they knew about dogs from the information on these pages.
  • Model making connections to prior knowledge.
  • Think-aloud: I have seen a dog swimming before. They use their paws to paddle through the water. When I came to this page, I knew what the dog was doing so it helped me read the word swim.
  • Have students read the remainder of the book. Remind them to think about what they already know as they read.

Have students make a small question mark in their book beside any word or words they do not understand or cannot pronounce. These can be addressed in the discussion that follows.

After Reading

Reflect on the Reading Strategy

  • Ask students what words, if any, they marked in their book. Use this opportunity to model how to read these words using decoding strategies and context clues.
  • Think-aloud: On page 8, I thought about the tricks people teach their dogs to do. One trick is teaching the dog to sit. I've also seen people teach their dogs to roll over. Thinking about what I know helped me to understand and enjoy the book.
  • Reinforce how using what they already knew about what dogs can do helped them understand what they read. Invite students to share how they connected to prior knowledge as they read.

Teach the Comprehension Skill: Main ideas and details

  • Discussion: Ask students what part of the book they liked best and why. Have them read that part aloud.
  • Introduce and model the skill: Explain to students that books they read have a main idea that tells what the book is about. The title of the book and the pictures can be clues to identify the main idea. Discuss the main idea of this book. (Dogs can do many things). Explain that there are details in the book that tell about the main idea.
  • Think-aloud: I know the book is about what dogs can do. When I read page 4, I read that the dog can run. Running is something a dog can do. This is a detail that tells about the main idea.
  • Check for understanding: Ask students to look for another thing the dog can do. Have them point to the action in their book. Observe and discuss their responses.
  • Independent practice: Introduce, explain, and have students complete the main idea and details worksheet. If time allows, discuss their responses.

Extend the discussion: Instruct students to use the last page of their book to draw a picture of a dog they know doing something like the dog in the book. Have students share their pictures with the group.

Build Skills

Phonological Awareness: Initial sound discrimination

  • Say the words dog and dig and have students repeat the words. Tell them that the words start with the same sound /d/. Have students repeat the words and listen for the /d/ sound at the beginning.
  • Say the words dog and rat and have students repeat them. Tell students that the words do not start with the same sound. Say each word and repeat each beginning sound: dog, /d/; rat, /r/.
  • Tell students that you are going to say two words. Have them repeat each word and then give a thumbs-up signal if the words start with the same sound, and a thumbs-down signal if they start with different sounds. Say the following pairs of words, one at a time: run/road; cat/cup; bin/put; nut/nine; fish/sun; hen/hat; duck/got.

Phonics: Initial consonant Dd

  • Write the letter Dd on the board and ask students to say the letter name. Tell students that the letter can stand for the sound they hear at the beginning of the word dog. Have students find the word dog on the cover of the book and put their finger on the word. Then have them put their finger on the letter that stands for the /d/ sound.
  • Challenge students to find another word in the book that starts with the /d/ sound. If they have difficulty finding it, tell them the word is on page 6 (dig).
  • Have students brainstorm words that begin with the /d/ sound. Write the words in a list on the board. Ask individual students to come up and circle the letter that makes the /d/ sound in the words.

Grammar and Mechanics: Action words (verbs)

  • Have students turn to page 3 and identify the dog's action. Have them underline the word (jump).
  • Explain that words like jump are special words called action words or verbs. Have students find the action word on the next page (run).

Instruct students to work together to underline the action words in the book.

  • Independent practice: Introduce, explain, and have students complete the verbs worksheet. If time allows, discuss their responses.

Word Work: Categorize words

  • Create a large Venn diagram on the board. Write dogs at the top of one circle, children at the top of the other, and both where the circles overlap. Ask students to identify the dog's actions in the book. As they name the action, ask whether only dogs can do this or whether children can do this as well. If both can do the action, write it in the circle overlap.
  • After students have found the things the dog can do from the book, ask what other things dogs can do that children cannot do and things children can do that dogs cannot do. Write these in the appropriate circles.

Build Fluency

Independent Reading

  • Allow students to read their book independently or with a partner. Additionally, partners can take turns reading in the book.

Home Connection

  • Give students take their book to take home to read with parents, caregivers, siblings, or friends.

Extend the Reading

Writing Connection
Ask students to choose their favorite sentence in the book. Tell them to think of another animal that can do that activity. Tell students to write the sentence changing the dog to the animal they thought of. Help students with the spelling of their words. Ask students to illustrate their sentence and share with the group.

Art Connection
Provide magazines or other resources. Ask students to find pictures of animals doing things the dog in the book did. Then ask them to find animals doing things the dog in the book did not do. Make "Like the dog" and "Not like the dog" collages.


Monitor students to determine if they can:

  • connect what they know about dogs to what they read in the book
  • correctly identify details that support the main idea on a worksheet
  • listen to word pairs to determine whether they begin with the same sound during discussion
  • associate the letter Dd with the sound /d/ during discussion
  • accurately locate action words in the book; use the correct action word on a worksheet
  • categorize words during discussion

Comprehension Check

Go to "My Dog" main page